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Closing or Settlement >The Settlement
The final stage of a home sale transaction is the time to tie up all the loose ends. The buyer and seller will sign the settlement sheet at the closing, detailing all of the charges that each party has incurred during the sale of the house. It is crucial to go over the sheet for accuracy and to make sure that you understand everything on it before you complete the transaction.
When a contract is negotiated, each side agrees how to divide the loan fees (or points), as well as the other closing charges, such as state or local taxes or escrow fees. Your real estate agent can go over the settlement sheet and help you compare it with your purchase agreement. The seller’s charges usually include the brokerage fee, the mortgage payoff, and any charges involved in clearing the title, as well as pro-rated property taxes, payments for termite treatment and escrow for repairs that could not be completed by closing. The buyer’s costs include charges for the loan and title searches, insurance and any other legal fees. A good closing officer will go over the settlement sheet line by line, explaining each item and correcting any misplaced charges.